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An April 1930 Film Daily news item indicated that Lionel Barrymore was set to direct this film, and that Raquel Torres was cast in a leading part, but they did not work on the production. According to a Motion Picture Herald pre-production news item, actor Johnny Mack Brown was originally set to star opposite Conchita Montenegro. A April 22, 1931 M-G-M studio billing sheet notes that "several writers" worked on the screenplay, but that "no credit will be given." However, writers Ruth Cummings, John Lynch and Edwin Justus Mayer were credited onscreen. The Variety review incorrectly lists Eulalie Jensen's character name as Mrs. Craven.
According to the file for Never the Twain Shall Meet in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in May 1930 Hays office official John V. Wilson met with M-G-M representatives and informed them that their treatment of the picture was "all right from the point of view of miscegenation because the father of the girl is white and he is the only one shown in the picture. The mother was a Polynesian queen and Polynesians are not black." Wilson also suggested that "it might be dangerous to have the son already married and that it would be better to retain the idea in the original story that he has been engaged to the girl a long time and is just on the point of marrying her...If in the begining of the picture a great deal of audience sympathy is created for the situation surrounding the son and if in the end of the picture the audience is made to feel with him the fallacy of his action is deserting his former life, the tone of the picture will be kept at a level sufficient to satisfy the standards of the Code." The MPAA/PCA file also notes that the film was rejected by censors in Ireland.
An earlier version of Peter B. Kyne's novel was filmed by M-G-M under the same title in 1925, directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring Anita Stewart and Bert Lytell (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3804).